Oklahoma falls in finale at Kansas State

Sooners start hot, but once again the pitching doesn't hold up as K-State smacks 14 hits
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MANHATTAN, KS – Oklahoma fell to Kansas State 8-3 on Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium and dropped its third conference series of the season.

First baseman Tyler Hardman and third baseman Peyton Graham each had two hits and scored a run, but the Sooners fell to 19-17 overall and 4-8 in Big 12 play. K-State improved 21-15 and 4-8.

OU started the game with three straight hits to take a 1-0 lead. After the Wildcats went ahead 2-1, OU moved back in front 3-2 with two runs in top of the fifth but ran into trouble when KSU scored four runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth inning.

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In the first inning, Graham hit a leadoff double and scored on a single by catcher Jimmy Crooks. Hardman singled and right fielder Brett Squires walked, but a double play ended the inning.

Kansas State tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by catcher Chris Ceballos, and took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a single by designated hitter Zach Kokoska.

Oklahoma again took advantage of three straight hits and alert baserunning in the fifth inning to plate two runs and move ahead 3-2. Hardman led off with a single and Squires doubled, leading to an RBI base hit by center fielder Tanner Tredaway and an unconventional sacrifice fly by designated hitter Jace Bohrofen. Squires raced home when Tredaway’s grounder ricocheted off the pitcher and into foul territory. Bohrofen’s sac fly was a pop up to shallow left center field that the second baseman caught running away from the direction of home plate, and Hardman hustled home for OU’s third run of the game.

In the fifth inning, KSU first baseman Dylan Phillips hit a two-run home run, and two more runs scored on a single by center fielder Blake Burrows along with a throwing error. KSU made it 8-3 in the sixth on an RBI fielder’s choice and a bases-loaded walk.

The Sooners had other opportunities to score early in the game. In the second inning, second baseman Conor McKenna hit a two-out single and Graham, and then a pair of walks led off the third inning.

OU left nine runners on base, including six in the first three frames.

Ben Abram recorded four outs across the sixth and seventh innings and Christian Ruebeck entered in the eighth with two runners on base and retired all three batters he faced. Luke Taggart (1-4) took the loss while KSU’s Tyler Eckberg (3-3) earned the win with four relief innings.

Oklahoma will face Texas Tech in a non-conference matchup Tuesday in Amarillo, Texas. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on ESPNU.